Derek Vaughan MEP

Working hard for Wales in Europe

16-year-olds must be allowed to vote in EU referendum

Sixteen and seventeen year-olds in Wales should be given a vote in the EU referendum, says Derek Vaughan MEP.


Labour MEPs are backing moves by Labour in Westminster, led by Baroness Morgan of Ely, to give the vote to those "aged 16 or 17 on the date on which the referendum is to be held". 


Last night, the House of Lords voted to amend the European Referendum Bill to extend the franchise by 293 to 211 and Welsh Labour MEP, Derek Vaughan, a longstanding campaigner on the issue called on the UK Government to think again.


Derek Vaughan MEP said:


"I strongly believe 16 and 17 year olds should be allowed to vote in the EU referendum, and in all future elections - they can currently get married, pay tax, join the army, be a company director and even change their name, but they cannot vote.


"16 and 17 year olds in Wales can work and pay into the tax system, but cannot have a say in how that money is spent - they are paying taxation without being able to choose their representation. Only by giving young people the vote can they take control of their future.


“The principle was set down clearly in last year’s Scottish independence referendum and the UK Government must not continue to exclude young people from the process.


"The issue of our membership of the EU is one of the biggest questions facing Wales today, and it will affect young people the most. They will have to live longest with the consequences of this decision, yet as it stands they will have no say on the country’s future role."


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